One of the first images beamed to the world after the terrifying eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano speaks volumes for the resilience of the Kingdom of Tonga.
The image is understandably grainy but shows hundreds of workers sweeping the main runway at Fua'amotu International Airport.
With ears still ringing from the sonic boom which was heard as far away as Alaska, and with the fate of relatives and friends still unknown because of knocked-out communication cables, the recovery work is already underway.
Thankfully the airport is on the south side of the main island of Tongatapu, at the far side from the coast which bore the full blast of the volcanic roar and the tsunami it triggered. Like most of Tonga, however, it has been thickly blanketed in grey ash.
The eruption sent a volcanic mushroom plume into the stratosphere and extended radially to cover all Tonga islands, generating tsunami waves rising up to 15m, hitting the west coasts of Tongatapu, ʻEua and Haʻapai islands.
Tongan officials confirmed three deaths and many more people injured.
While air support has been knocked out, New Zealand and Australia are sending aid via naval ships. International agencies are also gearing up. But Tonga is not waiting.
Tonga's maritime force deployed a patrol vessel the day after the eruption and first responders included a health team and other experts sent to the Otumu'omu'a group in the group of islands of Ha'apai.
Crew members were equipped with relief items including water, food, and tents.
Because of the severity of the damage seen there, the patrol vessel was sent again on Tuesday with another health team, more resources, and emergency responders to Mango, Fonoifua and Nomuka islands.
Some international media have marvelled at the low death rate, given the scale of the eruption. But early reports confirm the damage is on a scale commensurate with the largest eruption in the world for 30 years. The devastation is immense.
All houses were destroyed on Mango island; only two houses remain on Fonoifua island; and Nomuka island has extensive damage.
On the main island, 21 homes in Kanokupolu were completely destroyed and 35 "severely damaged". People in that village have been taken to evacuation centres and supplied with necessary relief items by the Tongan Government.
In the central district, Kolomotu'a reported eight houses destroyed and 20 severely damaged. Two houses on nearby 'Eua island were destroyed and 45 badly damaged.
Evacuations of some smaller islands - Mango, Fonoifua, Nomuka, and Atatā - have also begun, with people being transported back to the main island of Tongatapu. Only once these are carried out, will the toll be revealed.
Tonga needs fresh provisions and logistics support but has the people on the ground who are very capable of the work to be done.
In the photos taken from the air, these once verdant, tropical isles look drained of colour. But the people are not drained of resolve.
Nofo lototo'a pea hanga ho ulu ki olunga, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga. Stay strong and keep your heads up, Kingdom of Tonga.